"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses JOMO - The Joy of Missing Out
ByIMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea
Have you heard of FOMO? Since the beginning of time, humans have wanted to feel included. Even though FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – was borne as a direct result of the explosive rise of social media, for some there is a direct link between missing out and an increase in their anxiety levels.
When we spend so much time comparing ourselves to others (and let’s face it, thanks to social media, it’s hard not to!), it’s not surprising we can sometimes feel stuck in a constant FOMO cycle. There is, however, something we can do about it.
Enter JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out – the vastly underrated counterpart to FOMO.
JOMO is all about stepping away from self-comparison, being content with where you are right now, embracing the integration of life and work and proudly living life in the slow lane. It allows you to unshackle yourself from what you ‘should’ be doing in favour of tuning into what you ‘want’ to do.
But here’s the thing about JOMO – you can’t just flip a switch. To turn FOMO on its head and truly embrace JOMO, you need to intentionally and consistently make a series of changes to your daily habits that will reconnect you to your true self.
Here are some things you can do to have more JOMO in your life:
Embrace saying no. This can feel uncomfortable, but remember that sometimes it feels good to say no. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we always should. Our world is hyper-connected, and while this brings more opportunity than ever before, it can also be a minefield. We often feel pressured to be constantly switched on and productive, but sometimes slowing down and intentionally focusing on the real world and what’s right in front of you is empowering and joyous.
Be intentional with your time. This is where having a clear sense of your values is useful. What is important to you and your happiness? What events and activities fit in with your goals and priorities? Make a conscious choice of how you want to spend your time instead of doing what you think you ‘should’ be doing for the sake of appearances.
Unplug from technology. In a world with smartphones we are constantly reachable, and we’re always switched on. Checking our email every time we get a notification, constantly scrolling through social media and being bombarded by other people’s wants, choices and preferences can be exhausting. It’s also important to consider that social media is often a highlights reel – a heavily curated view that people want you to see! We are in control; our devices should not be in control of us. Consider monitoring your screen time – did you know the average person spends 147 minutes per day on social media? How does your screen time compare? Perhaps switch your work phone off at a set time each day and find ways to disconnect from tech and reconnect with real people. Unfollow people or accounts that trigger negative feelings, about yourself or situations. Relationships are essential to human happiness, so focus instead on spending time with people that uplift you.
Embrace the quiet. In a world full of FOMO, it’s easy to feel compelled to be constantly on the go – accepting every invitation, attending every event, constantly doing. However, there is power in the quiet and spending some time alone, and I urge you to seek the solace in this. Being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely. Many people find being alone uncomfortable, and if this is you then I’d encourage you to consider why this is and what you can do to change it.
JOMO is an opportunity to turn the tables and to live on your own terms without regret. Watch that sunset, paint the picture, walk barefoot in nature, have adventures and spend time with those closest to you. You won’t regret the time you didn’t spend on social media, and you will gain so much from experiencing life – not watching the lives of others from the sidelines.